Did someone hurt you? Thank them.
From my archives, a letter I wrote to a friend who’s heart was hurting.
Dry your tears, my Friend. I am not right beside you but I am with you and I have a story for you.
Yesterday, Patrick and I had one of our talks. I say, “our talks” because that is what I’ve come to call them over the years. They are meaningful, they flow and they change a pattern of thought, often in me, that has been limiting or self-destructive.
I have cried every day for six days. I have sobbed and shook and snotted over the nasty text I received from someone who used to be my friend. I have questioned and literally shaken my fist at the injustice of life and over the loss of friends through my divorce.
During our lunch break yesterday, I cried to Patrick, imploring him to tell me a way to just let it go! How could I just forget it, already and move on? It has been a year and a half and I’m still crying over being misunderstood. My head was telling me I was being stupid, but my heart was pounding out a completely different message.
I cried and said, “Patrick, please tell me how to get rid of this feeling! I’m ready to listen. Just tell me what I need to do.”
He looked at me in his loving way and said, “I don’t know.”
I eventually dried my tears, but they threatened to fall for the rest of the day. I had pressure behind my eyes and faint smudges from days-old mascara, left as a reminder of the ugliness I felt on the inside.
That evening, we heated up leftovers and shared a bottle of wine. I hadn’t eaten hardly anything all day (tears tend to wash away my appetite) and I was pretty buzzed half way through my first glass.
Our plates were empty – the remains of roasted potatoes were cold and withered. My butt was numb from sitting in the kitchen chair for far too long. I gestured to Patrick to move to the patio, and listened to him as we walked outside while he was mid-sentence.
“Have you ever read the Celestine Prophecy?” he asked me.
“No, but I’ve heard of it.”
“It’s an old new-age book,” he said, laughing at his own joke.
In the book it talks about the universe lining up just so and providing perfect vibrations, sometimes in the form of a conversation. Sometimes two people can talk, each taking a turn to speak and each taking a turn to listen. They are not thinking about what they are going to say next. They actually listen- I mean really hear what’s being said. Imagine that! They take turns talking and listening and the conversation moves effortlessly. It’s like being in the same vibe with someone. No one is rushing, no one is arguing. I like to think of it as talking meditation.
Have you ever had one of those conversations? I have. A few years ago, my friend and I would meet for happy hour, just her and I, and we would have conversations like that. The sounds of the bar and the people around us just melted away. We would be interrupted by the waitress or a person stopping by to say hi, but it didn’t break our rhythm. Man, those conversations would energize me! I would feel like my “soul battery” had been recharged after a talk like that! We would laugh and say, “We just solved all the world’s problems! We should record those!”
We don’t have talks like that anymore. Something in our relationship changed and now we just seem to get in our own way. I am sad that those talks are gone, but I’m thankful that they happened.
Anyway, Patrick went on to say that this book claims that every person is brought into your life to serve a purpose. Each person is here to add value or teach a lesson. The trick is to see it and be thankful for it.
I agree with this thinking. I always have. I can think back over my life and mentally list the people who have had an impact. So many folks have been angels for me. So many have helped me and taught me things.
But my view on this is wrong.
See, I like to remember the good that people have brought to my life. I reminisce on the positive impact someone had on me. For reasons for this exercise, I only count the times I’ve grown in a positive way from a person or my experience with them. I have failed to see that even the people who have hurt me, have caused me pain and suffering had value too. I never count the unfinished business. I didn’t grow from that. No way, it still pisses me off! (You know how I am when it comes to letting things go.) The only thing I learned from those people is, “I’m not going to get screwed over by you again, Asshole.”
Patrick helped me to see how limiting my view is.
Patrick said that he likes to thank the people who have shit on him. He says he likes to let that person know, “Hey, thanks for doing that. You’ve really helped me. I know you didn’t mean to help me by killing my puppy, but thanks.”
He went on to say that people come and people go, but they all serve a purpose. The trick is to recognize when that purpose has been fulfilled. I know in my own experience, I try to hold on to relationships that no longer serve me. I just can’t stand when a relationship is over! It hurts and I don’t want to hurt!
Then I realized that relationships are never over, they’re just complete.
I’ve been doing this with my old group of friends. Trying to hold on to something that has run its course. The cycle is complete. Those girls served their purpose and now it’s time to move on.
Life is a crazy ride, huh? It’s like a giant game of connect the dots. One choice led you here, where you met person A, who made you think of X and landed you on Land Y. Then on Land Y you crashed into Person R who knows Person A! It’s a big mess of lines and dots and chutes and ladders.
Friend, I know you’re lost right now. (I am, too. We’re both in the Land of Lost together. Wait, I’m pretty sure we’re supposed to take a left here.) You’re confused and conflicted and probably thinking it would be great if some handsome old guy in a white suit would appear in your living room and smile knowingly and tell you which path to choose.
I want you to know that you are doing the right thing. That’s right. Today, lying on your couch, crying or watching movies or eating a half gallon of organic Publix ice cream is part of your life path. Every decision you make is the right one. Every time you feel happy or sad or kick-a-hole-in-the-wall pissed, it is because you did the right thing. And I know this because it leads you to your next perfect decision that is going to lift you to the sky or pummel you to the ground. Not every choice is easy, not every action even feels like a choice! But you’re working in perfect harmony with your world because you are YOU (and no one else is youer than you!)
Trust yourself. Have one of those amazing conversations with your head and your heart. When it’s their time to talk, shut the fuck up and listen. And when it’s your time to talk, say what you mean and call yourself out on your bullshit.
You’ll know what to do.
If you soar, I’ll be watching you and whoopin’ it up from Planet Earth.
If you crash, I’ll be here to help you patch back together.
I’m your friend. That is my purpose in your life.